In such a fast-moving world, it's so important to stay on the cutting edge. Your creative ideas of yesteryear probably have very little impact on today's innovative age. With that said, you've likely realized the importance of finding inspiration for innovation.
Your inspiration may change over time, but at least finding it is a start. Some inspiring things and people may be right in front of you. But others, like the ones here, may take a little digging to find their value to your plan for innovation.
Seek inspiration in these areas:
1. Historical figures with success stories. Much of the world as you know it today is because of contributions from historical figures. Many of them took bold steps that didn’t necessarily pay off. But their perseverance and creativity allowed them to become world-changers.
2. Inventions before their time. You've likely heard the phrase, "think outside the box" before. However, this is probably the first time you'll be applying it to your 1 plan for innovation.
3. Nature. Look through your window and you'll see nature all around you. It's beautiful and intricate. Things that are so specially made are often great sources of inspiration.
4. People who are overcoming trying obstacles. Their challenges are incomparable and difficult. Yet, they continue to push through with the aim of finding clear skies at the end of the road. If you can lay your eyes on someone like that, you'll likely get all the inspiration you need!
These sources can provide the inspiration you need to be creative. Take a different approach. That's a surefire way to stand out from everyone else. You can expect great results when you elevate the thought process for innovation.
While it's true that some people are born with a creative mind, it doesn't mean that creative
thinking can't be learned and developed.
You may even believe that you don't have a creative bone in your body, but this simply isn't
true. If you weren't capable of some type of creative thinking, you'd be a robot!
Believing In Yourself
The first step toward creative thinking is the belief that you can acquire and develop the
skill. The truth is that, if you continue to set up a mental roadblock and tell yourself that you
can't think creatively, you'll never get past this first step.
When you truly believe in yourself, you also open up doors. The possibilities are
endless just because you decided to give creative thinking a shot.
In order to foster creativity in your life, start thinking about where you want to apply
your newfound creativity. It'll help, at least at first, to have a specific goal instead of the
broad goal of just "thinking" creatively overall.
You might start with discovering better solutions to common problems at the office, or you
might want to broaden your horizons with an artistic goal in your free time.
No matter what your goal is, try applying some of these creativity boosting tips:
1. Spend time brainstorming. When looking for ideas for a project - or solutions to a
challenge - write down everything that comes to mind without holding back. Don't
worry about logistics or staying organized; just let your mind go free.
• Another form of brainstorming that might be worth a try is free writing: just pick up a
pen and let your mind go wild on the topic of your choice. Tell yourself that you can't
pause or put the pen down; you must keep writing. You'll be surprised at what you can
unload from your brain during a free writing session!
2. Change your surroundings. You may have noticed that your patterns of thinking
change when you're in different places. If you find that your mind is stuck, try
changing your environment. Go out for some fresh air or hang out in a coffee shop. It
may be just what you need in order to discover a new and exciting idea.
3. Take notes. Always carry some kind of note taking device with you, whether it's
paper or a mobile device. Record your ideas as they come to you, no matter
where you are at the time. Creative thoughts can come and go, but if you write
them down you won't forget them.
4. Research your topics. Even though it may seem boring, you can do some research
online. When you do, you'll learn that knowledge is power and it'll enable your brain
to get to a place it wouldn't normally have gone.
• Enjoy the journey and always follow your love of learning. Research will always
provide you with new angles of thought.
Consider Other Perspectives
While everyone comes with their own unique set of abilities and opinions, when you
develop your creativity, you learn how to come up with new ideas and solve
problems from different points of view.
No matter what challenge you're faced with, spend time considering the perspective of
others. While you might not share the opinion of another, see if you can figure out how or
why they have that view. Think about how they feel. Developing this empathy will keep
your mind open, which will always foster creativity.
When you get into the habit of using these tips often, you'll be pleased to see outbursts of
Many popular theories about creativity break the process into stages. The most mysterious of these intervals is incubation. Over the years, psychological studies and real life breakthroughs have come to suggest the best ways to use this step.
In general, creative thinking starts when you identify an issue and prepare to tackle it. Next, you hit an impasse and decide to take a break. Then, the answer comes to you while you’re taking a shower or getting up from a nap.
That productive rest period before the Eureka moment is called incubation.
Guiding Principles for Effective Incubating
Prepare carefully. This is the time to do your research and engage in critical thought. Figure out the challenge you want to solve and state it precisely.
Plan ahead. Incubation is more effective when you remind yourself that you’ll be returning to your dilemma later. Look forward to coming back feeling refreshed and full of new answers.
Slow down. Think about coming to a gradual stop rather than slamming on the brakes. Allow your body and mind to quiet down. Take a few deep breaths. Relax your neck and shoulders. Observe your thoughts without pursuing them.
Choose non-demanding activities. If you spend your break studying calculus or the Peloponnesian War, it’ll be difficult to get anything else done. Devote your time to routine tasks that require little thought.
Let your mind wander. Relax and let your thoughts flow. Free yourself from any expectations and see what happens.
Play more. Clowning around stimulates your imagination. Lighten up and have a good laugh.
Keep it brief. You may find that the results you want are already close at hand. Short breaks often work better than taking a whole day off. Take it easy for about a half hour.
Appreciate the value of sleep. REM sleep unleashes creativity in amazing ways. When you dream, you form associations and consolidate memories. You’re able to see things differently and spot new opportunities.
Practical Strategies to Encourage Incubation
Take a nap. Get work done while you sleep. You’re likely to perform better after you lie down for 15 or 20 minutes.
Keep a journal by your bed. If your day job keeps you on your feet, make the most of your overnight slumbers. Have a pen and paper handy to jot down your thoughts when you wake up in the wee hours.
Meditate daily. Meditation and sleep have similar effects on the brain. Carve out five minutes to sit down and calm your mind.
Play with kids. Cut back on weekend appointments so you can spend time goofing around with your kids. Toss a Frisbee or throw a tea party.
Get a dog. If you sometimes get too busy to remember to play, a dog will help you get back on track. They like sharing their toys.
Exercise outdoors. Connecting with nature always helps. Break out your ice skates or bathing suit depending on the season.
Develop a new hobby. Lots of great artists and scientists have engaged in pastimes that created an atmosphere conducive to their accomplishments. For example, Emily Dickinson baked cakes. You may get inspired doing needlework or repairing clocks.
Clean house. Just doing the laundry or vacuuming the living room carpet may reveal your inner talents. Find chores at work and home that keep your hands busy and your mind free.
When it comes to triggering creative insights, not all rest is created equal. If you want to boost your creativity, make time to play and harness the power of your dreams. You’ll be surprised with the incredible payoff.